The ocean writes to the UN Climate Change Conference

Just before the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference wraps up on December 11, the chief scientist of the Kon-Tiki2 expedition, Dr. Cecilie Mauritzen, published a letter online to help put oceans on the UN’s agenda.


Mauritzen’s letter is addressed to the summit on behalf of the ocean:

What the Ocean would have said.

On oxygen @ cop21
Dear delegates, dignitaries, ladies and gentlemen,

It is a great honor to be given the floor at the 21st Conference of the Parties here in Paris – a meeting of enormous consequences for Earth, its elements, and all its creatures, great and small. The agreements that are reached at the 2015 climate summit will have consequences for times so far into the future that only the ocean and the mountains will remember.

Today I wish to turn your attention to an aspect of climate change that you have quite possibly never considered. It is an issue of great importance and grave consequences for the ocean, namely that of oxygen depletion…..Nearly half the oxygen you use originates in the ocean. I fear that we, the Ocean, cannot continue providing this service at the same high standard much longer. [Read the full letter here.]

Mauritzen, along with 14 passengers on the Kon-Tiki2, including our Chief Technology Officer Håkon Wium Lie, is mapping pollution in the Southern Pacific Garbage Patch, hoping to strengthen the case for addressing global climate change. The Kon-Tiki2 expedition has already been at sea for a month.

The Kon-Tiki2 is now documenting climate change, marine life, and plastics pollution, as well as the ocean’s temperature, salinity, and chlorophyll and oxygen levels in this turbulent El Niño year.

Research vessels rarely reach this part of the Pacific, putting the team in a unique position to make discoveries and help predict the effects of climate change from the middle of the world’s largest ocean.

Follow the journey in real-time

There are several ways you can get Kon-Tiki2 updates online:
– Read through the craft’s scientific findings at Kon-Tiki2 Science.
– Follow Opera’s CTO, Håkon Wium Lie, on his Twitter account: @wiumlie.
– Watch Karen M’s personal YouTube channel, as she documents the adventure.

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